I received this question several times this week one specifically asking whether Unum pays-off its doctors. I think it’s fair to say that the insurance industry routinely “pays-off” its reviewing physicians all the time, and they do it on the table.
Specifically, with reference to Unum, I consider all of its internal medical reviews to be bought and paid for. Unum’s physicians clearly understand they must submit written reviews consistent with Unum’s “shareholder value” agenda. Those who at least attempt to write unbiased reports are immediately terminated or receive lower annual bonus percentages.
Those who routinely read my articles know that I have said many times that Unum’s physicians leave their ethics at the door in the morning. Of course, these physicians are paid-off and instead of “do no harm”, do the most harm they can on a daily basis.
Of course, Unum isn’t the only insurer who pays off its physicians to render biased, prejudicial reports. I also include IME physicians and the facilities they work for as paid-off workers to support the insurance industry’s profit generation.
One IME company, traditionally used by insurers, which I cannot name publicly, trains their neuropsychologists how to select batteries of tests that result in biased reports. These same facilities give their doctor’s “grades” on how well they did with their write-ups. Industry physicians are always paid-off to write reports creating an “illusion” of credibility that does not exist.
In fact, one could easily say that disability insurers cash in on the credentials of their physicians as “Board Certified.” (You may notice that all insurers continue to tell you about board certifications in their letters.) Insurers continue to push Board Certifications even though nearly all physicians are now board certified after residency, and the credential is not so impressive anymore.
In the past, state regulators investigated IME physicians and have held insurers accountable for placing too much weight on the results. Today, it is common knowledge that IME results and internal physician reviews are trumped up to support profit goals and objectives of the insurance industry.
Today, no one really believes that internal reviews and/or IME reports are credible – they are what they are. But, when the question is asked whether or not insurers “pay-off” physicians to write biased reports, it’s an overwhelming “YES!” Of course, when the word “pay-off” is used one tends to conjure up insurers paying physicians under the table in a criminal sense.
Well…..insurers don’t have to do that because they can accomplish the same thing in plain sight with no regulatory objection. Paying physicians internally or externally to cook the books with medical reviews is considered part of the shameful disability industry that generally gets what it pays for.